The long voyages of discovery and exploration of the vast Pacific Ocean were an exercise in logistics, navigation, hard grit, shipwreck and pure luck. The motivations were scientific and geographic, but at the same time nationalistic and materialistic. This ambitious and informative reference includes the familiar names of Laperouse, Bougainville, Cook and Dampier, as well as the intriguing stories of the Bounty Mutiny, scurvy, and the mysterious Northwest Passage, Terra Australis Ignotia and Davis Land. There are cross-referenced entries on first contacts, ships, navigational instruments, mapping, and botany. The scene is carefully set in the introduction, the chronology spans several centuries, and the extensive bibliography offers a guide to further reading.